- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 19, 2013

British authorities announced Thursday they were dispatching an airplane to South Sudan to evacuate citizens from what has become an escalating climate of violence, clashes and rumored military coup.

The New York Times reported that there were about 500 British nations in the nation, and about 150 had contacted their homeland for help.

The evacuation comes on the heels of the South Sudanese Army’s admission that it lost control of a town that’s located in the northern region of the country. Meanwhile, President Salva Kiir just accused Riek Machar, his former vice president, of staging a coup and attempting to drive him from power. Mr. Machar denied the charge, The New York Times reported.

But tensions are only rising. Sparks have been flying since July, when Mr. Kiir sent his entire cabinet, to include Mr. Machar, packing.

The British Foreign Office did not give a time when the evacuation plane would land, except to confirm it would be Thursday. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that diplomats say 500 or so people have been killed since Monday, when Mr. Kiir took the stage at a broadcast news conference wearing a camouflage military uniform and claiming his government supporters had successfully thwarted a coup.

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